I took a temporary hiatus from Twitter last weekend, so I missed President Trump’s Saturday Tweetstorm about the Four Freshmen of the Apocalypse: Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. (I don’t know what Pressley has done specifically to be included in the squad other than be on the cover of Rolling Stone with the other three and Nancy Pelosi, but I digress.) What I did see was the internal Democrat poll from earlier in the week that found Omar and AOC in abysmal standing with swing voters. Getting to see Trump’s remarks in the context of that poll from Axios was important, because I got to see the Twittering for the strategic masterstroke that it was.
First of all, Trump was not making racist remarks about these four women, not was he telling them to “go back where they came from.” He was essentially telling them to put up or shut up, to go see the brokenness of these countries, and admit they don’t have it so bad.
However Trump meant it, it was clearly interpreted as racist. Thousands of people, left and right, took to Twitter to condemn the tweets. What most missed is that those tweets had a very clear intent, which played out beautifully over the course of the week. Trump baited the establishment Democrats into circling the wagons around the so-called “Squad,” simultaneously allowing him to broad-brush them as the face of the Democratic Party.
I don’t understand the grumbling from some on the right that Trump ruined the fun of the in-party scrum between the establishment and the Four Follying Females. The fight may have been hilarious in the short term, and it may have deepened the crack in the Party structure, but the Dems would have coalesced around their Presidential candidate in time for the election, so whatever benefits a schism would have now are probably for naught come November 2020. Furthermore, Nancy Pelosi and the moderate faction were winning the fight overwhelmingly and making the Squad look even more foolish, as if that were possible. What’s more, Pelosi’s stomping of the squad at least provided the illusion that the Democrats are still just your friendly neighborhood, virtue-signaling, redistributionist idiots, instead of the aggressively ignorant, Jew-hating, actually socialist conglomerate of actually terrible people the “Squad” seems to be dragging the Party by their teeth toward becoming. By a few taps of his phone, he forced the Democrats to circle their clown cars around their fresh faces™ to protect them from the slings and arrows of the orange man. At the same time, he put the “Squad” back in front of the cameras, the breeding ground for all manner of Democratic nightmares.
As far as the racism of the tweets are concerned, it’s seems to me that was part of Trumps plan. By intentionally breaking up his comments, he made them seem worse than they actually are, leading the left to cry racism once again, and only further desensitize moderate voters towards their cynical ploy. Trumps base will follow him wherever he goes. They aren’t fazed by accusations of RAYSIZUM because they’ve been hearing it for three years. But Trump is making a big gamble with moderate voters. He’s not trying to win them over to his side necessarily. He doesn’t really need them to win. However, he needs them to not vote for the Democrats. By putting the Four Freshmen front and center, he is making the whole party unpalatable to moderate voters. No matter who comes out of the Democratic Primary, the public, televised face of the party will continue to be the “Squad.”
I think Trumps play will work in the end. They proved him right this week, when the story developed and snowballed into a chaotic mess for the Democrats, with the Squad’s press conference, the resolution, even a resolution to debate impeachment. Democrats and the Media (but I repeat myself) played right into his hands. The Squad’s increasing presence as well as their deep unpopularity will make them a focal point of the 2020 cycle. The most dangerous place for Democrats is between the “Squad” and a TV camera. All Trump needs to do is keep them there.
As an observer, I’m glad I got to observe his plan in all its glory before anyone I know of picked up on it. Sometimes you have to get away to see things as they really are.